Dear Governor Hutchinson

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has surprised me throughout his term with some of his legislative decisions, in both positive and negative ways. Arkansas state Senator Jason Rapert, however, has stayed true to form and only ever surprises me when he is threatening someone with a weapon on Twitter.

Today Senator Rapert shared a letter he received from Governor Hutchinson.

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Senator Rapert shared this letter on his social media pages today with the added caption: “I want to thank Gov. Asa Hutchinson for committing to seek a waiver from the federal government to end Arkansas taxpayer coverage of Plan B Morning After Pill drugs in Medicaid within our state, and also seek authority to do the same with qualified health plans under the expansion population.

– Sen. Jason Rapert”

Finally fed up with Senator Rapert and thorough frustrated by this letter, I wrote my own letter that I sent off to Gov. Hutchinson.

“Governor Hutchinson,

I am writing today with respect to your letter to state Senator Jason Rapert. I join the voices of others in stating that Plan B is a vital resource to women’s health and should be included in the Medicaid coverage and expansion plan. I understand that you and Sen. Rapert both state moral concerns as being the restrictive force in your opposition. I say moral concerns and not health concerns because, quite frankly sir, as you and Sen. Rapert both lack medical degrees or any medical training, you have no justification or qualification in asserting what is and is not good for my health.

As a rape survivor, I assure you that access to medicine such as Plan B helps provide the tiniest shred of reassurance one can obtain after being raped. Not every survivor may agree or may wish to access such medicine, but those who do should not be limited by being unable to afford the medicine. I hope you could not tell me that because I was raped, I, the victim, should carry the consequences because of my economic status.

As a woman, I assure you that access to a medicine such as Plan B helps provide an avenue for women to have body autonomy, something that men, most notably white men, have enjoyed for years. I understand that you and Sen. Rapert do not like Plan B. Then you are in luck, because unlike millions of women across the US, you won’t ever have to be placed in a situation where you might need it. Please do not further restrict women’s access to health equality and body autonomy based on personal principles.

As for any furthering of a moral argument, Plan B is not even an abortifacient. As you detailed in your letter to Sen. Rapert, it is emergency contraception. It prevents attachment of an egg to the uterine wall or prevents fertilization of an egg. It is an egg. It is the same process that occurs when women menstruate. The egg was in our body, it wasn’t fertilized or implanted, and then it was out of our body. If the sperm penetrates the egg, the window for Plan B is narrow- 72 hours maximum, but most effective within the first 12 hours. If the egg has already implanted, the pill won’t work.

This isn’t even an argument on abortion because Plan B can’t abort. This is an issue on women’s health and providing equal access for all women to practice safe body autonomy.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

-Brittany Webb”

In interest of brevity, I tried to keep it short. But if anyone else would like to submit their own letters, as short or lengthy as you like, please click here. Happy writing!

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